While meteorology and aerosols are identified as key drivers of snow
cover variability in High Mountain Asia (HMA), complex non-linear
interactions between them are not adequately quantified. Here, we
attempt to unravel these interactions through a simple relative
importance (RI) analysis of meteorological and aerosol variables from
ERA5/CAMS-EAC4 reanalysis against satellite-derived snow cover from
MODIS across 2003-2018. Our results show a statistically significant 7%
rise in the RI of aerosol-meteorology interactions (AMI) in modulating
snow cover during late snowmelt season (June-July), notably over low
snow-covered (LSC) regions. Sensitivity tests further reveal that the
importance of meteorological interactions with individual aerosol
species are more prominent than total aerosols over LSC regions. We find
that the RI of AMI for LSC regions is clearly dominated by carbonaceous
aerosols, on top of the expected importance of dynamic meteorology.
These findings clearly highlight the need to consider AMI in
hydrometeorological monitoring, modeling, and reanalyses.